Senior men’s hockey makes its return to the Cowichan Valley this weekend when the South Island Knights take on the Powell River Regals in a pair of games at Fuller Lake Arena.
Playing in a senior AA league with Powell River and North Island this year, the Knights are taking aim at qualifying for the provincial championships, and got things off to a good start last weekend, beating North Island in Port McNeill by identical 4-3 scores, despite having just 12 players for the first and 11 for the second.
Player/coach/manager Jon Hollett expects to be closer to the regular lineup of 18 skaters and two goalies when the team plays at home this weekend.
The Knights are made up of a mixture of local players and some who travel to play, many hailing from the Mill Bay Rec Hockey League.
“About half the guys are local,” Hollett said. “Some guys come from up-Island, or Victoria, or even the Mainland.”
Former Cowichan Valley Capitals forward and current Kerry Park Islanders head coach Aaron Spotts is expected to skate with the Knights on Sunday, and former Caps fan favourite Tyler Matheson might also be in the lineup this weekend.
Other players on the roster include Jordan Clark, who played a handful of games for the Cowichan Valley Capitals a few years ago, and A.J. Dzhevelekyan, who patrolled the Kerry Park Islanders blueline for several seasons.
Hollett didn’t play junior hockey himself, but played college hockey in Alberta. He would be comfortable just running the team if the situation allowed.
“I definitely can keep up,” he said. “But I’d be happy to work myself off the roster one day.”
Fans can expect good hockey when they head to a Knights game, according to Hollett.
“They’re all decent hockey players, committed guys,” he said.
The Knights take on Powell River at Fuller Lake this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at
11 a.m. There will be a beer garden on Saturday night. Tickets are $7, and kids 12 and under get in free.